Psalm 127:1-5 “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”
I love being a youth pastor! I have been working with young people for about twenty-seven years and started being the youth director at our church about twenty-four years ago. Some people going into the ministry might view being a youth pastor as just fun or doing activities. That is part of our job, but to me this is the least or smallest part of helping young people. I believe the most important part of being a youth pastor is raising the next generation.
You see, your children will be the next leaders, the next moms and dads; they will be the next preachers and missionaries. Your children are the future! Unfortunately, Hitler knew the importance of young people. Hitler was one of the wickedest men that have ever walked on this earth. He almost dominated our world with his ungodly ideologies. But he understood an important truth when he said, “He alone who owns the youth, gains the future…”
Young people have high value in God's eyes. The Bible says:
Matthew 18:6 “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”
1 Timothy 4:12 “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”
Psalm 127: 3 “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord:”
Sadly, there are statistics saying that 80% of all young people leave the faith after graduating high school. My heart breaks to hear that. We are losing the next generation!! So what do we do? How can we see the next generation make it for the Lord? Let me give you some factors that will help:
You are the key. Love, lead, train, and nurture your children. God has given us a valuable asset in our children. Sometimes we have to be rough, but just being rough doesn’t cut it. We have to train and nurture our children as well. Teach them and explain why. Develop a genuine relationship with them. Instill a love for God in them.
The pastor is your friend! He is there to help your family. Sometimes you may disagree with the pastor or have questions regarding biblical principles. The mistake parents make is when we openly, in front of our children, question or even verbally criticize the pastor or the church. This will always give the children a bad taste. You might understand later when you talk to the pastor, but your children only remember your disdain you had for the situation.
As parents, let us push our children towards the Lord and also towards the pastor. They need him both now and in the future.
Friends are an important part of young people's lives, but your children should not be dependent on them. I believe your children's best friends and dependence should be their parents. Someone once said, “Peer dependence is poison.” Yes, our children should have friends, but be careful of who you allow your children to spend time with. It is the parents’ responsibility to provide guidelines for your children’s friends.
Young people are very important to the Lord. Let us do all we can to love and train the next generation.
If we are not building our life on the Word of God, we will experience major defeat and disaster.
If an area of our life is incompatible with Scriptural living, it isn't to be moved to another area, but removed completely.